Major US multichannel video providers lost over 50,000 subscribers in Q3 2012

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 
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Quarterly Industry Losses Fairly Similar to Recent Third Quarter Totals

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the thirteen largest multi-channel video providers in the US — representing about 94% of the market — lost about 53,500 net additional video subscribers in Q3 2012. Quarterly net multi-channel video losses in Q3 2012 compared to a net gain of about 17,000 in Q3 2011, and a net loss of 28,000 in Q3 2010.

The top multi-channel video providers account for about 94.6 million subscribers — with the top nine cable companies having over 51.6 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having 34 million subscribers, and top telephone companies having over 8.9 million subscribers.

Other key findings include:

  • The top nine cable companies lost about 420,000 video subscribers in Q3 2012 — compared to a loss of about 505,000 subscribers in Q3 2011
  • The top telephone providers added 317,000 video subscribers in Q3 2012 — compared to 307,000 net additions in Q3 2011
  • Satellite TV providers added 48,000 subscribers in Q3 2012 — compared to a gain of 216,00 in Q3 2011
  • Over the past year, multi-channel video providers added about 305,000 subscribers, compared to a gain of about 250,000 over the prior year

“With a fairly saturated market, the multi-channel video industry was essentially flat in the third quarter of 2012,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “This year’s third quarter was in line with recent years, with about 70,000 more losses than a year ago, and about 25,000 more losses than two years ago.”

Multi-channel                           Subscribers at  Net Adds in  Net Adds in
Video Provider                          End of 3Q 2012      3Q 2012      3Q 2011
--------------                          --------------  -----------  -----------
Cable Companies
  Comcast                                  22,002,000     (116,000)    (165,000)
  Time Warner                              12,334,000     (140,000)    (135,700)
  Charter                                   4,197,000      (72,000)     (67,000)
  Cablevision                               3,247,000      (10,000)     (19,000)
  Suddenlink                                1,230,100          200       (5,900)
  Mediacom                                  1,019,000      (18,000)     (39,000)
  Cable ONE                                   605,057       (7,672)      (9,409)
  Other Major Private Cable Companies*      7,005,000      (55,000)     (65,000)
    Total Top Cable                        51,649,357     (418,472)    (506,009)

Satellite TV Companies (DBS)
  DIRECTV                                  19,981,000       67,000      327,000
  DISH Network                             14,042,000      (19,000)    (111,000)
    Total Top DBS                          34,023,000       48,000      216,000

Telephone Companies
  Verizon FIOS                              4,592,000      119,000      131,000
  AT&T U-verse                              4,344,000      198,000      176,000
    Total Top Phone                         8,936,000      317,000      307,000
                                        --------------  -----------  -----------
Total Multi-channel Video                  94,608,357      (53,472)      16,991

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Includes LRG estimates for Cox and Bright House Networks
Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions
Top multi-channel video providers represent approximately 94% of all subscribers
Top cable companies do not include WOW
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Note that LRG consumer research finds that about 1% of households subscribe to both cable and DBS

Links: Leichtman Research